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Played
August 20, 2012 3:00 AM SGT
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ José González‎
Attendance:‬ 57721‎
 
11′ Lionel Messi
 
16′ Lionel Messi
 
41′ Pedro
 
84′ David Villa
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Barcelona 5-1 Real Sociedad

Goal.com casts an eye over the performers at Camp Nou as Tito Vilanova's reign as Blaugrana boss began in some style, with last season's runners-up laying down an early marker

By Keeghann Sinanan

  • Víctor Valdés
    149
    20
    3.00

    Víctor Valdés

    Apart from one surprise attempt by Elustondo to catch him off his line, the Barca No.1 had an untroubled game in goal. Reduced to a spectator for large periods during the match and in no way at fault for Sociedad's equaliser.

  • Daniel Alves
    169
    27
    2.50

    Daniel Alves

    One moment of weakness defensively cost Barcelona, as he was tucked too far infield, allowing Castro to slip in and score for Sociedad. Provided a decent outlet in the attacking third but, on other days, such questionable positioning may cost him and his team dearly.

  • Carles Puyol
    217
    10
    3.50

    Carles Puyol

    Opened the scoring with a typically bullish header, and was never seriously tested by the visitors as he continues his climb to full fitness. Withdrawn moments into the second half as Vilanova looked to save his legs.

  • Jordi Alba
    223
    12
    3.00

    Jordi Alba

    Found himself with acres of space down the left and at times he took advantage to link up well in an encouraging partnership with Tello. A positive debut from the full-back and more to come.

  • Cesc Fàbregas
    180
    25
    3.00

    Cesc Fàbregas

    The most advanced of the three Barcelona central midfielders, Fabregas was in good form, dovetailing well with the front three to keep Socieded perpetually on the back foot. Faded a bit in the second half.

  • Xavi
    198
    16
    3.00

    Xavi

    Xavi did what Xavi does best, hanging deep to orchestrate the Barcelona machine with his exquisite passing. Sociedad were never able to stop him from performing.

  • Javier Mascherano
    176
    13
    3.00

    Javier Mascherano

    Quiet game at the back, but did the simple things right when called upon and never looked like being beaten.

  • Busquets
    177
    21
    3.00

    Busquets

    While the focus was rightfully on Barcelona’s dominant offensive showing, Busquets, as is his wont, quietly went about his business in the centre of the park. Despite one or two questionable moments, he recycled possession effectively enough.

  • Lionel Messi
    548
    43
    4.00

    Lionel Messi Top of the Match

    Another season, another goalscoring game for Messi. His penalty-box instincts and ruthlessness punished Sociedad in the first half, as he scored two poacher’s efforts to assert the Blaugrana’s dominance. Could not take one of multiple chances to complete his hat-trick, but his impact on the game was there for all to see.

  • Pedro
    209
    25
    3.00

    Pedro

    Back amongst the goals today. Looked a threat whenever Barcelona attacked, and took his chance well to score his side's fourth. Encouraging signs for him after a sub-par season last year, and will need to keep it up with Villa now pushing for a recall.

  • Tello
    406
    27
    4.00

    Tello

    Took control of the left flank, evading his marker on multiple occasions with ease and setting up many Barcelona chances with his deliveries into the area, two of which directly led to goals for Messi and Pedro.

Substitutions

  • Piqué
    193
    15
    3.00

    Piqué

    Given a run-out for part of the second half, the big centre-back was composed and in control of what little the visitors could offer. Went forward to good effect as well.

  • Andrés Iniesta Luján
    231
    10
    3.00

    Andrés Iniesta Luján

    Came on for the final half hour and immediately injected his quality onto the contest. His close control was as delightful as ever and a trademark dribble through the Sociedad defence set up the final goal for Villa.

  • David Villa
    365
    8
    3.50

    David Villa

    Introduced to a rousing reception by the home fans as he made his long-anticipated return from a broken tibia. Looked as if he had never been away, with a series of nice touches before burying Iniesta’s cutback to make it 5-1. Great to see him back.

  • Claudio Bravo
    17
    13
    2.50

    Claudio Bravo

    Looked ready to collapse after conceding three goals in the opening 16 minutes. However, his confidence improved as the game wore on and a few solid stops kept the score down.

  • Jon Ansotegui
    11
    20
    2.00

    Jon Ansotegui

    Out-jumped with ease by the 34-year-old Puyol for the game’s opening goal, and too slow to close down Messi on Barcelona’s third. Was left scrambling throughout the match by the overwhelming attack of Barcelona.

  • Dani Estrada
    10
    11
    3.00

    Dani Estrada

    Taken apart time and time again by Tello out wide, as he conceded the left flank to Barcelona. Shocking game at the back for him.

  • Alberto De la Bella
    11
    11
    3.00

    Alberto De la Bella

    Fared just as badly as the rest of his fellow defenders, and was never able to stem the flow of Barca’s attacks. Will want to move on quickly from this thrashing.

  • Mikel González Martínez
    9
    11
    2.00

    Mikel González Martínez

    Somehow he allowed Messi to slip past him for the Barcelona equaliser when he was part of a triple-team of the Argentine in the area. Once the home side got into their groove, he never stood a chance.

  • Gorka Gorka Elustondo Urkiola
    8
    10
    3.00

    Gorka Gorka Elustondo Urkiola

    Apart from one audacious lob from the halfway line that forced Victor Valdes into action, he was anonymous in midfield as Barca simply blew by him at will.

  • Markel Bergara
    7
    14
    1.50

    Markel Bergara Flop of the Match

    Reduced to chasing shadows left, right and centre as his team were pulled in all directions. A bundle of nerves and an easy obstacle for the hosts to overcome.

  • Asier Illarramendi
    11
    10
    2.50

    Asier Illarramendi

    It was his incisive through-ball that set up the only goal of the game for the visiting side, but his influence fizzled out shortly after that. He took charge of a fair number of set-pieces, but was not able to make any of them count.

  • Xabi Prieto
    10
    7
    3.00

    Xabi Prieto

    Try as he might, the Sociedad skipper did not come close to inspiring a performance from his team. As the game wore on, he retreated further and further into his own half.

  • Chory Castro
    22
    8
    3.50

    Chory Castro

    Looked a threat during the opening exchanges with his nippy movement on the left flank. After spurning one early chance, he made no mistake with his second, stealing in from out wide to score. However, his luck dried up after that, and he spent the rest of the match covering in his own half.

  • Antoine Griezmann
    13
    9
    3.00

    Antoine Griezmann

    Had one opening at the beginning of the second half but snatched at it. Barely had a sniff afterwards as he was constantly isolated from the rest of his team.

Substitutions

  • José Ángel
    7
    9
    2.50

    José Ángel

    Came on to shore up the backline but was put under a lot of pressure, and did not fare well.

  • Javier Ros
    6
    9
    2.50

    Javier Ros

    Barely had a touch of the ball after his appearance in the second half. Spent his time trying to close down the Barcelona attackers.

  • Carlos Vela
    12
    11
    2.50

    Carlos Vela

    Was a non-factor after his introduction, never getting a sniff at goal.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0